Battle: Lily’s vs. Ludy’s, The Showdown We’ve Been Waiting ForOctober 20, 2016
To think of a time when local spreads weren’t a part of the Filipino diet, is an impossible task for us young’uns. It should come as no surprise given that one of the brands have been in production for nearly 70 years. Growing up, my impressionable palate found refuge in the almost saccharine Filipino toast accompaniments: local peanut butter and coco jam. Its kid-friendly and nostalgia inducing flavors make it an obvious choice over the sticky imports.
Among the local homemade spreads either lovingly made by a perpetually smiling grandmother or commercially produced alternatives, a heated rivalry is brewing between two heavy weights. Albeit, a little under the radar compared to two bigwig teams in collegiate basketball. Lily’s and Ludy’s are two of the industry’s big shots who share similar flavor profiles. At a glance, these two seem to be on equal footing, matching each other’s products, and maybe even each other’s flavors. We pit them against each other and finally decide, which is the best! (In our humble opinions, of course) To fairly judge these two, we consider the following: flavor, texture, and spreadability. It may come as a surprise that we’re not including price points for consideration, the prices of each brand’s products are too close. In fact, there are only a few centavos difference between the two.
Filipino-Style Peanut Butter
To start off, when tasting the two spreads, you’ll first notice the sweetness. Both are relatively moderate—although, Lily’s is noticeably sweeter in comparison to Ludy’s. In making the spread sweeter, we lose some of the subtle inflections of the peanut. The boldness of local peanut butter’s OG—Lily’s, may be unpleasant to those looking for a rounder flavor profile which Ludy’s effortlessly provides.
Texture-wise, both have a grittiness that the imported fare lack. For the uninitiated, the grit can be an unwelcome surprise, but for those in the know it’s a unique feature that the local versions impeccably execute. For texture, we’re calling it a draw—we find that the differences are too minute to call.
While for spreadability, where Ludy’s spreads evenly without the need of mixing through the bottle, Lily’s being an all-natural spread had nut sediments that settled at the bottom of the bottle. It really comes down to the addition of palm oil to Ludy’s peanut butter that gives it its smoother texture.
Based on these three characteristics we judged these two products with, we felt that Ludy’s had a slight edge over the classic Lily’s. Its rounded flavor let the easily overpowered layers of peanut shine through, and the ease of spreading it atop bread without worrying about the even distribution of nut sediment definitely helped its case.
Locally, coconut has successfully lent its versatility to numerous dishes, be it in sweet or savory dishes. Unsurprisingly, we find the minatamis na bao; a product derived from cooking down brown sugar in gata. At the forefront of commercially available coco jam stands Lily’s and Ludy’s, head to head again for a second time. In contrast to the two brands’ peanut butter products, their jams more or less share the same viscosity and smooth, sticky texture. The flavor in this case steered our decision. When sampling the coco jam, you instantly get a punch of intense sweetness. Where Lily’s boasted of a two-dimensional flavor, Ludy’s had more of a caramel-like depth and roundness to it—all without sacrificing the tell-tale nuttiness of coconut.
After extensive testing of these products, it’s clear who the winner is Ludy’s, by a landslide. While their products may share a similar flavor profile—our winner clearly edges out the competition with their attention to detail and appreciation of depth. The next time you stroll down the spread aisle, pick up a bottle of Ludy’s and share your thoughts with us!